The 2014 Ford F-150 will be offered with a compressed natural gas (CNG) prep package, allowing fleets to easily send the truck to upfitters so it can run either on gasoline or on more-affordable compressed gas. The prep package involves hardened pistons, piston rings, valves, and valve seats, and is only available on the F-150's 3.7-liter V-6 engine.
The main advantage is cost: Ford says that CNG costs just $2.11 per gallon on average, and in some parts of the country it runs as cheap as $1 per gasoline gallon equivalent. That difference could make a big impact in a fleet operator's fuel cost, given that gasoline currently averages $3.64per gallon nationwide.
Adding the CNG prep package to a 2014 Ford F-150 will cost about $315, on top of which a buyer will typically spend anywhere from $7500 to $9500 to have a CNG tank and fuel system installed at a Ford-certified modification shop. However, Ford says the low cost of CNG fuel means buyers can typically recoup the initial investment cost in about two years' time. About 85 percent of all compressed natural gas used for vehicles is produced in the U.S., and Ford reports the fuel produces 30 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline.
"Businesses and fleet customers have been asking Ford to make F-150 available with CNG capability to take advantage of the fuel's low price and clean emissions," Ford fleet technology manager Jon Coleman said in a statement.
In addition to the 2014 Ford F-150, the Blue Oval sells several other commercial vehicles with CNG prep packages, including the new 2014 Transit, the new 2014 Transit Connect, the E-Series, the F-Series Super Duty, the F-450 and F-550 chassis cabs, the F-650 truck, and the F53 and F59 truck chassis.
The 3.7-liter V-6 engine in the 2014 Ford F-150 is rated at 302 hp and 278 lb-ft of torque. It returns 17/23 mpg (city/highway) in EPA testing with rear-wheel drive, and 16/21 mpg with four-wheel drive. There are only a handful of other changes for the 2014 Ford F-150: HID headlights are now available on XLT and higher trim levels, rather than just the Limited; the FX Appearance package has a restyled grille, XLT and STX models gain 17-inch aluminum wheels with painted inserts, and special marina blue leather becomes available on Limited models.